The Pro Bowl is still a few months on the horizon (cast your vote here), but several Texans look like they're well on their way to Miami for the NFL's annual all-star game.
A few of them received midseason recognition today from various national media analysts. Here's a recap:
Pro Football Weekly 2009 Midseason All-Pro TeamWide receiver Andre Johnson represents the Texans on the list, which is compiled by the PFW editors and can be found in the current edition of Pro Football Weekly (Vol. XXIV, No. 18, issue date Nov. 15, 2009), now available on newsstands everywhere.
"Many talent evaluators will tell you Johnson is the AFC's most gifted receiver," PFW says. "With great size and strength, plus the speed to get deep, Johnson is a game-changer who presents a constant challenge for defenses. He also possesses a work ethic that makes him want to get better each and every week, a rare trait in a league filled with more than a few divas at the position."
Peter King's Midseason All-Pro Team & Awards
Johnson gets the nod for King's All-Pro Team. "Matt Schaub's go-to guy dominates with speed and muscle," King writes. King also gives honorable mention to tight end Owen Daniels for his blistering start to the season.
Best offensive player: Texans quarterback Matt Schaub. "Upset special: leads NFL in yards, AFC in TD passes," says King.
Best defensive rookie: Texans linebacker Brian Cushing. King: "Like rookie DeMeco Ryans in '06, making a mega impact at LB in Houston."
Don Banks' NFL Midseason Report
SI.com's Banks hands out his midseason NFL awards, including Defensive Rookie honors to Cushing. He explains:
"As difficult as it is to overlook Buffalo safety Jairus Byrd, whose seven interceptions are tied for the league lead, Cushing's play has been a difference-maker for 5-4 Houston. He's second in the league in tackles with 78, and his two interceptions, 1½ sacks, two forced fumbles and one safety has helped lift the Texans into playoff contention."
John P. Lopez's Outside the Box MVP: Six dominant players worthy of considerationThe SI.com contributor and SportsRadio 610 morning host offers six unconventional suggestions for MVP.
One of them is Johnson, of whom Lopez writes the following:
"On the day Andre Johnson is inducted into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame -- and he will be one day -- there's a video clip from the Texans' Week 5 game against the Arizona Cardinals that MUST be showed. It captures every detail of what makes this wide receiver so great.
"Johnson separated himself from the Cards' best cornerback. He crossed into coverage over the middle. He caught the ball and immediately took a full-speed, shoulder-down shot from 250-pound Arizona linebacker Gerald Hayes.
"But it was Hayes who bounced off and crumbled to the ground. Johnson then turned toward the end zone and lowered his head into safety Antrel Rolle, who fell face-first into the turf…"